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More in this section 2011-12

Vanek Plays: Audience and Unveiling

Playwright: Václav Havel

Director: Emek Dedeoglu

Brief Summary:

A compilation of Audience and Unveiling, Václav Havel's Vanek plays discuss consumerism and materialism as well as the sense of reality by inviting you to Michael and Vera's newly decorated dining room ready for an 'unveiling'. 

In the first play, Vanek is a guest of this married couple who desperately want to show him how incredibly happy and fulfilled they both are. In the second Vanek play, Vanek is a dissident writer who is forced to work in a brewery, so that he can contribute better to society. The foreman calls him in for a friendly talk, or possibly an interrogation, or a deal to offer.

Director's Note:

A dream you dream alone is only a dream.

A dream you dream together is reality.

John Lennon

Have we forgotten how to dream? Why have our dreams turned into nightmares? Do they belong to us or are they designed by others? When did we start believing anything without questioning? When did our world turn into a 'negative image' of the real one? Posting activist-political messages/videos on websites rather than actively protesting, peeking others' lives in reality TV shows and online; when did our lives become so dependent on this fake world?

We have short, instant relationships online, overseas business meetings without any human contact, consume more and more and are becoming shopaholics driven by the slogan: ‘buy one and get one free’. Sitting in front of the TV and internet for hours, faking happiness by sharing and commenting on photos on social networking sites, when did we start to show grief, anger, bliss through computer keyboards, spending more time in virtual worlds rather than the real one? 

When did our lives become so individual, so privatized? Everything is running so fast, so computerized, commoditized, and commercialized that we either have no time for a genuine connection with any other entity of the real world, or we are just too scared to have any contact. When did we become so dissociated, miserable, and alone? Constantly running away from the reality, is it really possible to escape from this so called 'liberating', simulated world? Is there a way out, or are we trapped in our high tech cocoons forever?


Vanek: Gavin Curtis / Gavin Fowler

Foreman: Joshua Ward

Vera: Lily Priggs

Michael: Paschalis Christodoulides

Production Team

Deputy Stage Manager: James Dance

Stage Management Team: Sean Brennan, Dan Jones, Richard Jordan, Ian Peppiat

Set and Costume Designers: Christianna Mason, Jessica Johnston, Audrey Kieley

A massive thank you to all the first year Drama Students who worked tirelessly behind the scenes in multiple roles to help put this show on!

Special thanks to Ali Hodge, Dr. Chris Megson, Dr. Libby Worth, Dr. David Williams, Alex Istudor, Tereza Pribanova, Anastasis Sarakatsanos, F. Cansu Pala.

Big thank you to John Wilson from the Fireside Centre in Egham!

We hope you enjoyed the show.

Date of performance: 30 May 2012 at 12pm and 9pm

Location: The Boilerhouse Theatre, Royal Holloway

Vanek Plays: Understanding and Unveiling was part of the 2012 MA Director's Season at Royal Holloway's Department of Drama. This forms part of the MA in Theatre (Directing) course as the "Independent Practical Project" and sees them team up with a crew of first year undergraduate students who gain valuable experience of various roles in the organising and preparation of a performance. 


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